The McConnell Wiretapper Speaks
His lawyer probably wishes he hadn't
Curtis Morrison, the fellow who recorded Mitch McConnell's campaign meeting, has an article about it in Salon. During which, as Julian Sanchez pointed out on Twitter, he seems to confess that he couldn't hear the conversation from out in the hall.
I don’t need to tell you what a weapon the pocket video camera has become. Bartender Scott Prouty changed the trajectory of the entire 2012 election when he captured Mitt Romney in his now classic “47 percent” speech. You just never knew when a politician was going to open his mouth and accidentally reveal his true agenda. And as I held my Flip up to the window, that’s what I was hoping for, but I soon realized that the video I was capturing was the back of a projection screen, and only the audio was of value. So I held the Flip closer to the door vent instead of the window, and began recording the 11:45 minutes of footage later released by Mother Jones.
I was sweating. My heart was racing. I tried to record backup audio on my phone, but my cheap replacement phone would only let me record voice memos of one minute in length. Every time the minute was up, the phone would beep, which was excruciating for the person crouching by a door vent. When a gentleman walked out of the campaign headquarters and into the hall, I put my Flip and phone back in my pocket, and headed to the elevator.
Shawn was already there. We made our escape.
At the time, I wasn’t clear exactly what I had captured on tape. It wasn’t until I listened back to the recording that I heard the entirety of what was taking place. I heard his campaign staff revealing the ugly nature of their pending electoral strategy. I heard an oppo research presenter, whose identity is still a tightly guarded McConnell secret, suggesting that the senator may have used his legislative aides to gather the dirt on Judd. It’s unlawful to use government resources for campaign work, a lesson McConnell should have learned in 1981, when the Louisville Times and a subsequent lawsuit allege he did the same, back when he was serving as the Jefferson County Judge/Executive.
As Julian Sanchez also pointed out on Twitter, he seems to be confessing to having committed a felony. The case against him revolves around whether the people in the meeting had a "reasonable expectation of privacy". If the conversation could easily be overheard in the hallway, then the recording may have been legal. On the other hand, if you have to crouch down and hold the device right up next to an air vent in the door--an air vent through which you cannot yourself, unaided, hear the whole conversation--then your defense gets a whole lot weaker. Maybe this isn't fatal; I'm certainly no expert on wiretapping. But why on earth say anything that could harm your defense?
I can't imagine why his lawyer let him write this. Unless he didn't consult his lawyer first, in which case, I can't imagine why this fellow isn't in some sort of home that can care for people without the common sense that God gave a chicken.
The saddest part: the end of the article says that he's moving to California and planning to go to law school. This is the only idea he's had that's even more spectacularly terrible than writing that article. His chances of being admitted to the bar with a felony wiretapping conviction on his record are basically nonexistent. As I understand it, even if he beats the rap, they probably aren't good--Stephen Glass didn't make it, even though writing articles about made-up facts is perfectly legal (unless you libel someone, or try to defraud them. Glass was at least smart enough to make up whole companies and people, rather than making up facts about real ones).
Going to law school when you can't get admitted to the bar is basically a ruinously expensive way to waste three more years of your life. Hopefully, someone--perhaps his lawyer--can talk him out of it.